Creative Fourth of July FunFireworks, flags, and food – the Fourth of July just wouldn’t be the same without those things. While we want our children to understand what’s behind all the celebrating, to understand the meaning of Independence Day, we also want them to have some Fourth of July fun. They can do more than watch fireworks, though. They can express themselves creatively on this holiday. Encourage your child to get creative by making some crafts, decorating some cupcakes, and writing some stories.

Creative Crafts

Your child can follow some patterns for Fourth of July crafts or she can just create some patriotic posters or artwork.

Crafts with patterns
There are quite a few craft projects for kids to work on for the Fourth of July. Here are some cute ones:

    • Statue of Liberty Crown & Torch
      Kids can pretend to be the Statue of Liberty with this cute craft. All you need are some paper plates and a little paint.
    • Paper Tube Firecracker 
      Kids don’t need real firecrackers to celebrate the 4th.  They can just make this craft one!
    • Fireworks Painting
      Fireworks are fun to watch, but this fireworks craft is fun to make.
    • 4th of July Star Man 
      What’s the Fourth of July without stars? The stars, of course, are part of the flag, so they are a big part of the celebration of this holiday. Your child will certainly enjoy making this little paper man made of stars.

Free Form Crafts
If your child wants to create his own artwork, all you need to do is provide some basic supplies. You definitely want items that are red, white, and blue, and items that are symbols of the holiday.  Here are some suggestions:

    • Red, white, and blue crayons or markers
    • Red, white and  blue paint
    • Red, white, and blue construction paper
    • Stars and flags

You should be able to find stars and flags in any craft store or stores with craft sections. These can be flat plastic ones or whatever else you find that could use pasted onto paper. What’s important is that your child is able to use them creatively.  Those are the basics.  You can add more items to the list – ribbons and glitter, for example. Be sure you have some glue and scissors too.

Just gather the supplies and let your child create! What does the holiday mean to your child? How can he express that meaning in a small poster? Or a picture?

If your child has a hard time drawing stars or other pictures, download and printout some stencils or clipart. Cutting the clipart to paste onto a project need not be perfect. In fact, cutting out the clipart with a wide border in a random shape can be part of the design. A picture of a flag, for example, does not need to follow the shape of the flag. It can be a circle with the flag in the center.  The circle doesn’t need to be perfect either. It can even look a bit like an amoeba and add to the creative appeal!  Here are some sites for stencils and clipart:

Instead of clipart, you can also download some pictures that are for coloring and use them as templates. Or your child can color them and then cut them out and paste them into her artwork.

Some good pages to color are listed below:

Creative Desserts

There is no way around it – picnics and food are part of the Fourth of July celebrations. Why not have your child get a little creative with some desserts?  If you don’t need too many desserts and you can keep your dessert in the freezer, have the kids make an Uncle Sam Upside Down Ice Cream Cone. This is so cute and clever. The cone is decorated as Uncle Sam’s top hat, which is then placed on top of a scoop of ice cream. The ice cream is decorated with M&Ms for the eyes and nose (although you could use icing) and whipped cream for the beard. The kids can make the cone hats ahead of time and then help assemble the dessert before serving.

Another fun and creative dessert is the cupcake. You and the kids can bake as many cupcakes as you’ll need and then the kids can decorate them. You’ll want some red, white, and blue icing, which you can just buy already prepared. Cans of icing to squirt on will work quite well.  The kids can squirt and then spread the icing smoothly on the cupcake or just squirt to make designs – or both!  You can also have red, white, and blue sprinkles handy, or whatever else you find in those colors. Patriotic cupcake toppers that the kids can put on the cupcakes are available, too. Just let the kids be creative!

Creative Writing

Does your child enjoy making up stories? If so, encourage her to write them out. Fiction writing is a wonderful creating outlet for kids, especially verbally gifted ones!  But your child doesn’t have to be a verbally gifted one in order for you to encourage story telling activities. Story telling is an excellent way for your child to exercise his imagination.

If your child is suffering from writer’s block — and what great writer doesn’t one time or another? — you can help her break that block by giving her some suggestions on how to come up with story ideas.

One idea is to have your child write some “fan fiction.” She can imagine her favorite characters celebrating American Independence Day. Or maybe the character can travel back in time, back to when the colonists were talking about independence from England. The character can even be there when the Declaration of Independence is read for the first time! You can also find a few story prompts at the Kidzone.

Carol BainbridgeHolidaysFourth of July,fourth of july fun
Fireworks, flags, and food - the Fourth of July just wouldn't be the same without those things. While we want our children to understand what's behind all the celebrating, to understand the meaning of Independence Day, we also want them to have some Fourth of July fun. They can...